Update Nov. 21 - After public outcry, Rupert Murdoch announced the television interviews with OJ Simpson will not air and the book will not be released.
As a strong advocate of a free press, reluctantly I must defend Judith Regan's right to produce an inane television show featuring O.J. Simpson's "hypothetical" take on committing murder. But the lack of scruples involved in such a tasteless exercise, blatantly pandering to sensationalism, rather than news? That is indefensible.
Unfortunately that's the kind of crass behaviour I have come to expect from Rupert Murdoch's low-brow Fox channel and Fox "news." They'll make money on advertising - although it will be interesting to note what companies are stupid enough to have their names associated with this desperate bid for ratings in American television's "sweeps" period.
As for Simpson, whether or not he is guilty of the murders in 1994 - and a civil court said he was guilty, ordering him to pay restitution to families of the victims - what kind of father would expose his children to more painful memories of their mother's murder? And to "hypothetically" discuss how he would have done it? Shameful. Here's the sordid story via Media Bistro:
"O.J. Simpson: If I Did It, Here's How It Happened," will be released on November 30, accompanied by a two-part TV special where Judith Regan interviews Simpson on Fox TV, airing on November 27 and 29 - in other words, just in time for the end of sweeps week. The hook? Both book and special will depict Simpson describing "how he would have carried out the murders he has vehemently denied committing for over a decade." Which means there's now a two-week window to debate the tastelessness of such a move and wonder who would actually ante up the cash to advertise products while O.J. blathers on about how he would, ah, "hypothetically murder" his victims even though the "real killers" are still out on the golf course, or whatever the going excuse is of the moment.
The Washington Post's Lisa de Moraes has more on the story, including a statement from Nicole Brown's sister, Denise Brown: "We hope Ms. Regan takes full accountability for promoting the wrong doing of criminals and leveraging this forum and the actions of 'Simpson' to commercialize abuse." But Hollywood cynics aren't exactly holding their breath. "No, not in Hollywood at all, because we're all whores, but in the rest of the country where they have morals -- sure," guessed one such exec, who conceded that the moral, non-Hollywood segment of the country probably would nonetheless tune in by the millions.
Meanwhile the New York Times reports that it is unclear how much, if any, of the royalties from the book will go to the victims’ families. A Regan representative and a spokeswoman for Fox declined to comment beyond the news release.